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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

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Joan Reminick

In an ongoing search to find Long Island’s best restaurant values, restaurant critic Joan Reminick has plowed through more pad thai, penne ala vodka and pulled pork than she cares to admit. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joan grew up in a happy home whose only shortcomings were culinary. After a childhood of cooked-to-leather steaks, canned peas and Ore Ida fries, she made it a personal mission to seek out food that’s fresh, lively and carefully prepared. Married to her teen sweetheart, she received a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.S. from Hofstra University and taught English and Humanities in a Long Island high school for several years. When her two children were born, she embarked on a writing career and has had both fiction and nonfiction works published in national magazines. She also edited the Zagat Survey of Long Island Restaurants and wrote the book “Exploring Long Island with Newsday.” In addition to doing weekly “Cheap Eats” restaurant reviews, Joan hunts down restaurant news items and writes restaurant-related articles. These days, her motto is: making Long Island a better place to eat, one blog entry at a time.

Open in Island Park: Gran Paradiso Italian Cuisine

Gran Paradiso Italian Cuisine is new to Island

(Credit: Gran Paradiso Italian Cuisine)

Gran Paradiso Italian Cuisine is serving house-made tagliolini, gnocchi and paccheri in the former Island Park digs of Meson Iberia.

While the place is named for a national park in the mountains of Northern Italy, chef-co-owner Benny Collado and his partner (and cousin), manager Bernardo Collado, hail from the Dominican Republic. Previously, Benny Collado cooked at Toro Pazzo in Wantagh and...

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Brewology in Speonk: First bites

"Fig-a-licious" is an appetizer with "torched" figs, blue

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Brewology, Long Island's newest gastropub, in Speonk, looks terrific and pours some outstanding beers.

Maybe the food will catch up.

Chef Lia Fallon's refined cooking excelled at restaurants as different from each other as now-closed Amarelle in Wading River, Bistro 72 in Riverhead, The Riverhead Project and the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport.

At this artfully designed spot,...

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Port Washington restaurants open after Prospect Avenue fire

An exterior view of the back of the

(Credit: Allison Michael Orenstein)

Downtown restaurants in Port Washington were open Wednesday after a fatal explosion and fire at a nearby residence Tuesday night..

The blast, which occurred about 9 p.m. Tuesday, was felt a mile away. One person died. Five firefighters were injured. Read about the fire here.

Main Street restaurants were not damaged by either the explosion or the fire. One of the major eateries, Louie's...

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Closed in Medford: Mekan Gyro & Grill

Mekan Gyro & Grill is tucked away in

(Credit: Nicole Horton)

Mekan Gyro & Grill in Medford has closed.

It was food, not ambience, that garnered the little Turkish counter-serve cafe a two and half star rating in 2013. The place was included in last year’s Top 10 roundup and featured as one of Newsday's Top 100 Restaurants this summer as well.

Credit such dishes as chef Sebastian Kurun’s stellar house-made gyro and knockout pide, a flaky boat-shaped...

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Open in East Meadow: Anzai Asian

Anzai Asian in East Meadow.

(Credit: Anzai)

Yet another Asian-fusion restaurant joins the burgeoning scene on Long Island. Anzai Asian, newly opened in East Meadow, offers an extensive sushi bar menu, along with Japanese and Asian fusion items from the kitchen.

A glance at the menu reveals such dishes as spicy rock shrimp ($7), sushi pizza ($12), spider roll ($8), fancy lobster roll ($14), chirashi ($18), Thai chicken curry ($12), Mongolian...

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Down Dog opens in Roslyn Heights

Down Dog Alimentari, a small specialty deli, opened

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Down Dog Alimentari, a small specialty deli, has opened in @250, the complex in Roslyn Heights that houses Soul Cycle and The Bar Method gyms, Truth + Beauty luxury spa and Thea gift shop. The shop takes over the space that was, until last week, Organic Avenue juice bar.

Organic Avenue sold cold-pressed juices and raw-food cleansing programs. Down Dog has a decidedly less Spartan lineup of...

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All U Can Eat replaces Mermaid in Lake Ronkonkoma

All U Can Eat in Lake Ronkonkoma is

(Credit: Masago)

All-you-can-eat dining is the big draw at the aptly named All U Can Eat in Lake Ronkonkoma, which takes over the former digs of Mermaid Asian Bistro & Bar. The newly renovated dining spot is an offshoot of Masago Neo Japanese Cuisine in Great Neck and offers the same menu as well as table service.

As manager Johnny Leung explains it, $17.99 (cash or credit card) gets you the option to...

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Moonstone in Great Neck: First bites

Whole red snapper in sweet-and-sour sauce is served

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

The moonstone, which symbolizes everything from passion and vision to healing and luck, now signifies something even better: very good Chinese food in Great Neck.

Sleek and handsome, Moonstone transforms the Northern Boulevard space close to the Nassau-Queens border long-occupied by Harvest Buffet. More important, the restaurant brings back a taste that has been missing for decades.


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Turkuaz Grill in Riverhead: Fine for vegetarians

A mixed appetizer platter served at Turkuaz in

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Where do you go for a quick and healthy lunch in Riverhead if you’ve got a vegetarian in your party?

The answer I came up with, one weekend afternoon, was Turkuaz Grill, a pretty little place with seating both indoors and outside, plus a view of the Peconic River. This turned out to be an ideal choice.

To start: a resonant, comforting bowl of red lentil soup. This was followed by a platter...

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Noah’s hits the road on the North Fork

Noah's in Greenport operates a food truck that

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

Since it opened in January 2010, Noah’s in Greenport has established itself as one of the North Fork’s most dependable spots for fine dining. This summer, chef-owner Noah Schwartz deputized his brother, Justin, to take the show on the road.

Justin found a 1964 Airstream Land Yacht Safari Edition trailer, outfitted it with a griddle and refrigeration and, in early July, Noah’s on the Road took...

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